Retail

VIP Tires & Service Adds Store and Program to Benefit Local Schools

Posted on August 27, 2018
Employees at the new VIP Tires & Service store in West Lebanon, N.H., prepare to cut the ribbon at a grand opening ceremony on Aug. 23.
Employees at the new VIP Tires & Service store in West Lebanon, N.H., prepare to cut the ribbon at a grand opening ceremony on Aug. 23.

VIP Tires & Service Corp. opened a location in New Hampshire to bring its store count to 57 outlets and launched a program to benefit seven public schools surrounding its newest store.

The new VIP Tires & Service store is in West Lebanon at 38 Railroad Avenue. VIP now has 19 locations in New Hampshire, three in Massachusetts and 35 in Maine. To mark the opening, VIP is offering $10 oil changes at the new store and will donate all proceeds to local schools. "Oil Changes for Education" runs from August until the end of October.

“The Upper Valley of New Hampshire and Vermont is a strong and growing market, and one that we’ve wanted to have a presence in for a long time,” says Tim Winkeler, president and chief operating officer. “VIP is already a well-recognized brand in New Hampshire and our new location just off Main Street in West Lebanon is perfectly situated to service all of the communities of the Upper Valley.”

The new VIP store is located at the former City Tire facility. VIP has signed an initial 10-year lease with renewal options and has spent the last several months hiring 7 local highly-qualified technicians and store managers. The company has also extensively renovated the facility to bring it up to its rigorous standards. When the new store opens, VIP will have invested more than $500,000 in the new location.

“With our 93 years in business and our dedication to service excellence, it’s our goal to become the local community’s trusted hometown provider for everything automotive,” says Winkeler.

VIP’s new 3,200-square-foot West Lebanon store has six service bays plus on-site storage for more than 1,500 tires. Additional renovation highlights include:

  • raising the showroom ceiling from 7 to 12 feet and adding large windows between the showroom and bays so that customers can watch their vehicles while they are being serviced;
  • installing all new lifts in the shop, alignment and tire equipment;
  • creating a 30-foot tire display wall so that customers can make selections more easily;
  • installing an American with Disabilities Act-compliant entrance ramp for greater customer accessibility;
  • updating existing customer restrooms and building a new employee restroom
  • installing all new heating systems; and
  • refurbishing the exterior with all an all-glass front, new paint, and signage.

The new VIP store is a full-service automotive repair, maintenance and tire shop offering everything from brake repair, preventative maintenance, muffler and exhaust repair, multi-point vehicle inspections, wheel alignments, state inspections and oil changes. Certified Master Technicians staff all VIP locations. Collectively, VIP’s service technicians have 950 ASE certifications; 41 have earned Master Mechanic status and three have achieved World Class Technician status.

Grand Opening Celebration – Launch of Oil Changes for Education

The new VIP store opened on August 18. An official ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on August 23. Guests included West Lebanon Assistant Mayor Timothy McNamara.

In addition, VIP held a grand opening celebration for the community August 24-26 where it launched a program to benefit area schools, according to Jeremy Weigel, manager of the West Lebanon store.

“In addition to food and festivities during the grand opening weekend, VIP is launching an initiative called ‘Oil Changes for Education’ to support thousands of children in the Lebanon and Hartford School districts.”

From August until the end of October, VIP will offer $10 oil changes to all customers at the new Lebanon store with 100% of the proceeds donated directly to the seven local schools.

In the Lebanon School District, the schools are Hanover Street Elementary, Mt. Lebanon Elementary, Lebanon Middle School and Lebanon High School in the Lebanon School District and White River School, Hartford Memorial Middle School and Hartford High School in the Hartford School District.

“When we enter a new market, we want to become active in the local community – it’s part of our company culture,” says Winkeler.

“While we were working on the new store, an article crossed my desk that detailed the enormous financial needs of the local schools. My team reached out to the superintendents of both the Lebanon and Hartford school districts and asked how we could get involved,” Winkeler explained.

“Together, we came up with idea of ‘Oil Changes for Education.’ Our goal is to raise funds to support student curriculum and activity needs at the seven schools. It’s a win-win for everyone because no one does $10 oil changes anymore, and 100% of the proceeds will benefit so many children in the local community.”

About VIP Tires & Service

VIP Tires & Service, a Quirk family-owned business for 93 years based in Auburn, Maine, operates 57 locations throughout Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts providing retail and wholesale tires and installation, and professional automotive services. For more information, visit: www.vipauto.com.

Related Topics: new stores, Tim Winkeler, VIP Tires & Service

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